The Navalny campaign is calling for nationwide protests on April 21 after the failure of their campaign to even get half a million people (quick arithmetic: 0.3% of Russia’s population) to register and commit to coming out and protesting on their website.
I don’t see much coming out of it. I correctly said that the previous protests would be nothingburgers, predicting that they would decline in turnout over time, and I was correct. So I think I speak with some authority when I say that this latest round of protests won’t be a big deal either.
That said, there’s one curiosity I’d like to highlight. Data blogger (and oppositionist) Seva Bashirov has a map showing the percentage of residents of Russia’s cities that plan to come out to these Free Navalny! protests.
Couple of notable things here.
First, Moscow (0.42% registered) is no longer the protest “capital” that it was a decade ago. It’s still relatively protest-friendly, having a high concentration of bobos/SWPLs. But not more so than Yekaterinburg (0.49%), which had an opposition mayor from 2013-18; Novosibirsk (0.41%);Tomsk (0.39%), and a bunch of other, mostly northern cities. BTW, this reflects a long-standing Russian electoral division between north and south, in which north is more “liberal” while south is more “traditionalist” (i.e., pro-Communist in the 1990s; pro-Putin from 2010).
Second – as per above – the south is more traditionalist. Though the least enthusiastic cities are the Caucasian ethnic minority cities: Khasavyurt (0.01%), Dagestan; Grozny (0.01%), Chechnya; Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia; Nalchik, Kabardino-Balkaria; Makhachkala (0.04%), Dagestan.
However, here are the more “stunning” results – at least so far as Westerners might be concerned. Excluding those ethnic minority republics, whose denizens are mostly apolitical, and some of whom (hilariously) view Navalny as a Russian nationalist, the least Navalny-enthusiastic cities in Russia are:
Sevastopol (0.09%), Crimea.
Simferopol (0.08%), Crimea.
The two major cities of the “forced to vote at gunpoint” for annexation into Russia show some of the least support of ethnic Russian cities. Presumably, they’re uninterested in Navalny’s idea of having a referendum on returning to Ukraine.
Shakhty (0.06%), right on the border with Donbass, and culturally a part of the Russo-Ukrainian mix that defines it. Its name literally translates to “mines” (i.e. coal mines). They do not like Navalny either
Pyatigorsk (0.04%), Stavropol. Stavropol region was 30-40% Ukrainian during the Russian Empire, which later Russified.
Stavropol, the regional capital: 0.20%. Still well below average for cities of its size.
Bryansk, which is decidedly Russian but has significant Ukrainian and Belorussian influences: 0.16%.
It is quite funny that the highest “Ukrainian” ancestry regions of the Russian world display the least support for Ukrainian nationalist Navalny, while arguably the most classically “Russian” (stemming from the Russian North-West) display the most.
Bearing this in mind, I suspect that the last defenders of the Ukrainian World will be ethnic Russian Nazis in the Azov Battalion in a Gotterdammerung-like last stand against the Putlerreich.